The Shadow Side of the Wellness and Spirituality Industry

With Nicky Clinch

Welcome to another episode of the Soul Surgery Podcast. I am so excited for you to hear this special solo episode where I take a look at the shadow side of the wellness industry.

There is an unsettling ideology being perpetuated by some parts of this industry that “negative” emotions like anger, grief, pain, or sadness are somehow wrong, unwanted and should be avoided at all costs. There is a pervasive toxic positivity that send the message that it’s only acceptable to be interested in love, light, and kindness. But in truth this avoidance and dismissal of the full spectrum of normal human emotions can be deeply harmful.

The topics of wellness and well-being are often surrounded by beautiful images of shiny, positive people. And while ALWAYS being happy might sound incredibly aspirational, the real underlying message being shared here is that anything that isn’t in this kind, nice, shiny, comfortable, pretty, smiley box is wrong, unhealthy and bad. There is a suggestion that any “negative” emotions do not have a place in the wellness industry and that is EXTREMELY dangerous.

We are being shown and, increasingly, conditioned to buy into an extremely narrow picture of what it means to be well. But in some cases niceness, kindness, and positivity can actually be used as a form of suppression and control, encouraging us to avoid and hide from what we are really feeling.

In this episode, we will discuss how in order to have a full human experience we need to accept and allow space for all of our emotions. True wellness is about honouring our whole, full and authentic selves. This episode is a love letter from my heart to yours and I can’t wait for you to listen.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If it has brought up any feelings inside of yourself that are not bright and shiny and that scares you, I invite you to sit with those feelings. The greatest and most generous gift we can give to ourselves is our awareness and attention, so look deeply inward, and you just might find a different type of healing is accessible to you.

I would be so grateful if you could leave a review on iTunes, and we can share this message of healing and wholeness with as many people as possible.


  • Why love and light is not something that we need to do or get. It’s something that we already are.
  • When we release the picture in our mind of who we think we NEED to be (good, kind, and NICE) we allow space to step into our power.
  • There are four parts of every person that exist – who we show to the world, who we don’t show to anybody, who we don’t want anybody to see (including ourselves) and who we are behind the mask.
  • What it means to have true well-being in your life and how to achieve that.
  • Why we aren’t meant to live a life we can only tolerate while rejecting all of the pain inside of us and how to release the fear of authentic self-expression.
  • Love does not look like shiny and light all the time. Sometimes love can be nurturing, soothing, loving, and caring, and sometimes love is a raging lioness that will kill for her babies.